Matthew & I got engaged on August 25, 2011 in
He proposed with a "stand-in" ring until I picked out and received my dream yellow diamond ring. The ring arrived on
Engagement Party: My girlfriends through Matthew and I an engagement party at the White House bowling alley on November 12, 2011.
Wedding Planning: In late 2011, we finally decided that we wanted to get married abroad. After much thought on the location, it finally came down to Jamaica or the Dominican Republic. In order to have the "best of both worlds," I booked Matthew's birthday in the DR (for April 2012) and we booked a wedding in Jamaica (for April 2013).
The resort: After reading through a lot of threads, putting in a deposit and shortly thereafter getting back a deposit for Grand Palladium, and finally discussing with our family friend who is now our travel coordinator, we decided on Iberostar Rose Hall Suites. I have heard only great things about the resort. Here are some reasons we chose this resort: great reviews, one wedding a day, good communication with the resort, reasonably priced weddings, lazy river, my colleague who just stayed there said the food was great, and our TA highly recommends this resort.
The date: We wanted April 2013 because it is shoulder season and before rainy/hurricane season. My fiance wanted a Saturday. The only Saturday in April 2013 that was available was April 6, 2013. I checked religious holidays, guests birthdays, and I even wikipedia-ed the day. Everything is a go about this day.
Wedding photographer: I contacted a few photographers who do weddings in Jamaica and finally decided on Sandy May. She has great prices, I love the photos and reviews, she communicates well, and she seems to dedicate time to the couple and their photos (she only takes 3-4 weddings a month). I also love the fact that she is a Minnesotan (which I am). She lives in Jamaica during winter time.
Wedding officiant: We are Jewish so I really wanted a Jewish ceremony. Thank goodness for Stephen Henriques. He is a leader of the Jewish community in Jamaica and does weddings. He is even mentioned in the book "A Travel Guide to the Jewish Caribbean and Latin America." He said he would do our wedding.
Save The Dates: We ordered our Save the Dates through SaveTheDateMagnet.com (New and Blue Enterprises, Inc.). I will post pictures when I have the actual Save the Dates in a couple weeks.
Travel Coordinator: Our friend Ellen Paderson from Smiles and Miles Travel, Inc. is coordinating everyone's travel. She is great to work with. I highly recommend her.
I will post more when I have more information. In the meantime, you can stay up to date on my planning by checking out http://CourtneyMara.com/Wedding!